by Amanda Armstrong
There are various ways educators can approach working with multicultural groups of students, and it can be overwhelming to choose one that fits you. One approach that I’ve found myself consistently using, whether in early childhood or informal education, is culturally responsive teaching (CRT), which validates and affirms the cultures of the students and incorporates their cultures in multiple aspects of learning and the environment in meaningful ways. This approach also encourages educators to hold high expectations of the children and their ability to learn content.
Researchers and educators have demonstrated the effectiveness of this approach in supporting young children’s learning. From scholars, peers, and my own practice of integrating CRT, I’ve seen evidence of students being more engaged, motivated, and connected to the learning process.
4 TIPS FOR USING CRT IN YOUR WORK
1. Apply CRT to multiple subjects: CRT complements a variety of subjects. For literacy, along with content that exposes children to new content areas, you can select books and software that represent their backgrounds, environments, home language, and routines, and include books and software that are bilingual. This will allow some children to make real-world connections and others to learn about different perspectives and experiences.
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